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Telling Stories

While there is no story at all
unless it has at least two sides,
when it comes to ego’s narrative lines
and epic paragraphs,
we have great difficulty in casting ourselves
as other than a one-sided protagonist story,
which others might see as including too much self-indulgent glory.

Winona LaDuke
tells a worship story of the Anishinaabe
defending their sacred home
with support from the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,
against further mining investments of commodifying Earth antagonists,
represented by the State of Michigan.

This story is about copper mining investors
against people who worship Earth
as sacred Habitat,
Elders of one EarthTribe extending family,
across species,
and back across first dawn of Time.

You have already guessed who is winning.

Why is that?
The quality of our spiritual and ecologically healthy lives
depends on questions
challenging competitive one-sided empowerment assumptions.

But, you are right, I suspect,
if you guessed that both sides are losing.

The RepublicanRuling White evangelical Christian
State of Michigan
ruled against the Anishinaabe
and against their own sacred Scripture
and spiritual experience.
Water and land, they say,
cannot be sacred,
cannot have spiritual development significance
and deep and rich and wide meaning
because a protected place of worship
must be inside a building.

I don’t have a PhD in King James Bible Studies,
but I do have a Master of Divinity degree
from a duly licensed
and officially accredited Christian seminary
in the U.S.
and I’m fairly sure I remember
Christian Worship takes place,
rather uniquely,
in human hearts and minds and bodies,
wherever they might happen to be located
in space and time,
inside, maybe, but, for many,
preferably outside.
Most of the history in the Bible
is outside worship history.

Surely gardens were Eden’s first cathedrals.
Why would the State of Michigan pretend otherwise?

Why would KingJames Bible thumpers
and HellFire prophets,
patriarchal evangelists
and patriotic disciples of God’s omnipresent Love
allow their regulators and legislators
and executives,
acting in their HolyScriptures name,
tolerate such a clear misrepresentation of worship
as taught and lived by JesusChrist,
pretty much outside
and especially sweating blood in gardens
and walking on sacred water?

Why accept such an absurd misconception of worship
without economic or political
or personal or vulnerable question
this is patently absurd one-sided stealing
for money-making redistribution purposes
from spiritually rich to feed toxic desecration
to all residents of Michigan
and Lake Superior
and Turtle Island.

Absurd to confine worship indoors
to anyone
from anywhere
who has had the natural-spiritual experience
of being born
from any sacred matriotic womb
of God’s EarthTribes.

Intolerable rape of Truth
to any healthy Christian
with opportunities
to worship outdoors
while reading Psalms
and Proverbs
and natural-spiritual Sacred Parables
about harvesting grace
planted in seeds of divine gratuity.

What is truly healthy faith
within our buildings of worship
is merely a pale reflection
of truly spiritual experience
derived long before we built buildings
as defensive shelters
against sacred elements
of MotherEarth.

I have known authentically patriotic Christians
to find more freedom worshiping God
on sacred rocks
born of spirited Lake Superiors
as compared to claustrophobia while boxed up inside
binding fear and threat constraints
of evangelically booming buildings
and fundamental absence of spiritual discernment constraints.

Worship, like Wonder,
looks for God’s ReStorative Justice and Peace,
to let go of stuckness
in Retributive Vengeance is DivinePower
over Lake Superior commodification issues
about who and what and where
is most biblically saved
after God’s Word
has spoken first and last outdoor spiritual experiences,
voices of Earth’s sacred natures
and divinely-inspired Great Spirits.

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Uncategorized

Singing for Stevie’s Wonder

I remember,
in the early 60s,
our thirty mile drive
from our historic family farm,
in all White rural Michigan,
not counting the Mexican migrant workers
which adults made a point of discounting,
on the first of several shopping trips to Thrifty Acres,
through vibrantly young all Black urban streets
of nearby Lansing.

Making Stevie Wonder and I,
him singing in all Black city churches
and me in all White rural and small village churches,
harmonic neighbors in my privately humming heart
yet never possible to publicly meet and greet
as this nation and this world were meant to sing
and dance our regenerations not apart.

I didn’t know apartheid by default yet
but I do remember
seeing nearly black as ink skin for the very first time
on a smiling brown-eyed boy
on a chipped white painted bicycle without rims,
and longing to talk and listen with him
and laugh with him about the fresh green smell of freedom from training wheels,
freedom to create our own fast pedaling breeze
across our summer-hot black and white faces and arms,
and knowing that I would touch his dark warm skin
with loving wonder
about what it could be like to become with him,
to grow together,
to smell and feel and fly our satisfying diverse integrity
on a tandem red in-your-face bike,
bright shining all the way back
from Black-streets Lansing
through little White Woodland,
spreading across all Black with White Capital Cities
on out to woodland farmers,
to peddle fly while singing our glad hosanna wonders.

As I reweave
this first drive by encounter with racial diversity
and humane ecstatic curiosity,
I imagine asking Mom to stop,
pull our metallic gold Ford over
so I could ask his thick black-framed glasses name,
which would be Stevie,
and take his hand
to walk his bike back to his home and family
where we would live together
happily and most prosperously ever after.

This was my moment,
too quickly passed,
to know passion’s love at first sight,
these sublime sounds and dark satin skin smells
of Stevie’s Wonder.

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